Paula Pointing the Way in TT’s non-Oil Export Thrust

A new wave of change is surging across the Caribbean Sea as Trinidad and Tobago proactively seeks a place of relevance and meaning in the diaspora for  the significant offerings she is making in  the non-energy trade and industry sector.

It’s in this regard, that T+T’s Trade and Industry Minister Senator Paula Gopie-Scoon has been leading the charge as one of this tiny democratic republic’s front-line ministries to position Trinidad and Tobago as a manufacturing base, and the business, trade, and financial hub of the Americas.

The Ministry’s core responsibility is to grow trade, business and investment, particularly through driving the non-energy sectors of the economy.

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 As the pivotal agency for trade promotion and development, MTI manages and coordinates the trade process to ensure access to international markets for companies located here.

This is closely tied to another critical mandate — the aggressive development of business and industry. In this regard, MTI is formulating more appropriate industrial and services policies, designed to enhance the capability of the local industrial sector to compete in the global marketplace.

In this regard, T+T Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley deserves compliments for the manner in which he has served as a stronghold of support for his ministers in his determination to wean Trinidad Tobago off its heavy dependency on Oil, Gas and related Energy products and services. 

In recent time, Senator Gopee-Scoon – who has been in charge here since 2010 – has been shooting off a great deal of positive fire as the MTI spreads its wings into diverse areas of endeavour to develop new markets for the heavily oil and gas-dependent twin-island Caribbean state.

Among these outstanding initiatives are:

  • The MTI Trade and Industry Convention to be held from August 25-27 at the Centre of Excellence, Macoya, east Trinidad.

Thousands of  persons – including 3,000 specially-invited Buyers are expected to be at  the Centre of Excellence, Macoya. The project is being executed in collaboration with the Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturer Association (TTMS) and other agencies.

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One of the companies booked to have their equipment on show here, said it will be using the TTIA  Expo  “to re-launch our washing machine brand”. 

He pointed out that his company had gained a great deal of advantage in the industry by putting the machines to the greatest tests by utilizing them in its heavy-demand coin laundries located all over the country.

The company intends to optimize its presence at the Expo by stepping up on its display and promotions, with special focus on an education programme on the different ways in which an owner can get the best out of the equipment. 

The CEO added that the company was also planning to bring in small, domestic washers of the same brand and would be having one of them on display.

“We expect to get the best out of this landmark event, especially in light of  the lifting  of COVID -19 restrictions and the opening up of the local and regional economy”, this CEO added.

The Virtual Fashion Tradeshow and Exhibition undertaken by the Trinidad and Tobago Fashion Company Limited (FashionTT) in partnership with exporTT on March 25, 2022;

The MTI Minister displayed a great deal of confidence and enthusiasm at the launch of the Virtual Fashion Tradeshow and Exhibition where she was “encouraged” by the performance of the sector. 

“During the fiscal period 2016 to 2020, the Garment Industry of Trinidad and Tobago generated exports of over $97 million (US$14 million)”, she revealed. 

This achievement was placed in the context of  an article by McKinsey and Company titled “The State of Fashion 2022”, stating how “the global fashion industry has faced exceptionally challenging conditions”

“After nearly two years of disruption, the industry is beginning to settle and grow. This growth is likely to be driven by the United Sates where the release of pent-up demand has created spikes of so-called “revenge buying,” leading to a growth spurt”, the article stated..

In this connection, Gopie-Scoon felt “This Virtual Fashion Trade Show is therefore timely as it presents a platform for our local fashion designers to take advantage of this spike in demand”.

  • Stepping up this country’s  export thrust in the creative sector through solid support for  state agencies  such as:
  • Trinidad and Tobago Creative Industries Company Limited (CreativeTT) and its three subsidiaries, namely:
  • The Trinidad and Tobago Film Company Limited
  • The Trinidad and Tobago Music Company Limited (MusicTT); and 
  • The Trinidad and Tobago Fashion Company Limited (FashionTT).
  • The mandate of these agencies are to stimulate and facilitate the business development and export activities of the Creative Industries in Trinidad and Tobago. Among these,
  • The Steelpan Manufacturing Grant Fund Facility has responsibility for administering the Steelpan manufacturing Grant Fund Facility.
  • The Commercial /Leisure Maritime and  Leisure Marine (yachting) facility’s
    The Official Government  Policy Framework highlights maritime services as a sector that has the potential to contribute to the sustainable growth and diversification of the economy through revenue, employment and foreign exchange generation.

Sectors identified for further development here  include 

Ship Repair and Dry Docking,


Cold Stacking, 

Port Operations and 

Leisure marine or yachting.

  • The Trinidad and Tobago Energy Conference and Trade Show held from  February 04th – 06th at Hyatt Regency, Port of Spain, Trinidad.

 This year, the conference addressed the topic: “Technology: transforming the industry”.

Billed as “The premier energy sector event in the Caribbean”, this meeting of Energy sector leaders from all the major multinationals as well as key players in the midstream, downstream and service sectors locally and regionally, is reputed to be “ unrivalled as an opportunity for networking, business deals and industry intelligence” 

The agenda is a broad representation of local, regional and international presenters from the private sector, government, academia and the financial sector. 

Support for the Agriculture and Food Expo by SOUTHEX Trade Shows and Promotions from August 3-7 at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy, Tarouba, San Fernando.

The expo’s theme is “Our Life, Our Business”.

In this regard, CEO of SOUTHEX George Singh has partnered with the Trinidad and Tobago and Georgetown Chambers of Industry and Commerce, as well as the Supermarket Association of TT (SATT) to make the expo a reality.

At the Expo’s media launch at the TT Chamber of Industry and Commerce, West Moorings, Singh said the idea was ” to expand business in the agricultural sector and reduce the cost of imports”.

As the Ministry of Trade and Industry proceeds apace with its various programmes to promote Trinidad and Tobago  as a key player non-Oil and energy exports therefore, we feel confident that all citizens will be soon very proud of the great outcomes expected out of the hard and effective work being carried out by MTI Minister Paula Gopie-Scoon and her very capable team. 

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